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Maybe you just met, but it’s been days, months, even years since someone piqued your interest like this.

Or maybe you’ve known each other for years, and the spark just ignited.

Unfortunately, it’s only hours before schedules split. You have a big trip or move planned, but there is someone special at home. Whether they asked you to stay or told you to go, you are unsure. What do you do?

For guidance, we can look to three examples of women in turn-of-the-Millennium television. These characters faced the choice of staying home for romance or leaving for travels. Lauren Conrad in “The Hills,” Rachel Green in “Friends,” and Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City” all had to decide between men who wanted them to stay and previously-made plans to travel.

Let’s see how these characters chose and how it may help you on your next departure, if you have to leave someone you really like.

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Stayed Home: Lauren Conrad in “The Hills”

When the first season of “The Hills” wrapped in 2006, its star, Lauren Conrad, had a great internship offer in Paris. But, she turned it down to stay home with her boyfriend. Since “The Hills” is a quasi-reality show, it’s safe to say that L.C. is doing well – she has gone on to a life of fashion designing, book writing and general celebrity. But part of her general celebrity will be as “The Girl Who Didn’t Go.”

It doesn’t help that we now know that things didn’t work out with the boyfriend. It’s easy to look back and say, “Oh yeah, bad choice!” Yet, she did the best she could with the information she had at the time. That’s all any of us can do.

Still… Is anyone in their teens is considering giving up a coveted, international, short-term career opportunity for their slacker boyfriend or girlfriend? Please watch that clip and reconsider!

Did you turn down a job opportunity to stay close to someone special? Let me know how it paid off or if you’ve always wondered with in the comments below #whatif @trailheaders

If you are a little more experienced in life and love though, you might be in a position where staying IS the better option. Maybe it depends on The Ask…

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Left… Almost: Rachel Green in “Friends”

We loved Rachel Green on “Friends” from coffee house waitress to fashion executive. Fellow Friend Ross was in love long before us. Yet, he couldn’t quite find the way to say it until it was nearly too late, at the end of the show in 2004. She was boarding a plane for a new job in Paris.

What do you think about the dramatic airport ask? Has anyone ever done that to you? Have you done it for someone? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or tweet @trailheaders #dramaticairportask

The adventuress and business mogul might have wanted Rachel to board that plane. But it would be hard not to feel Ross’s heart breaking when she did! Considering the length, tenacity and procreation (baby Emma) of their relationship, thank goodness Rachel came back. She kept her family together, and I can’t think of a better reason to stay than that. Maybe someday Ross gets a job at Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, and they all go to Paris as a family.

The key question is, if you stay, will you resent the person who asked you to stay? If the answer is yes, congratulations for being self-aware. But it’s not fair to take that out on them. So before staying or going, make sure that you will take full responsibility for your choice. Ross will give Rachel the love he professed, but he doesn’t owe her career success. That’s still her responsibility.

Rachel Green and Lauren Conrad could have gone to Paris for their professions but stayed. Now we look at a character who left her profession – and her #1 love – to go to Paris.

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Took the Leap: Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City”

What satisfaction that Carrie Bradshaw finally told Mr. Big, her on-again, off-again love interest , to get over himself, right? It took six years, but by the time “Sex and the City” ended in 2003, we see that Carrie is strong enough to leave her newspaper column and NYC without even telling Mr. Big. She joined her talented and worldly new boyfriend in Paris… and Mr. Big followed her!

Carrie left for love and came home with love, albeit not with the same man. But the most important aspect it that she went for it! I definitely recommend taking the trip whenever possible. But try parting ways without yelling. Anytime you or someone you even kind of love is leaving for a journey, make the words optimistic and the vibes welcoming for return.

Mr. Big, Petrovsky, Aiden Shaw, Berger, Jon Bon Jovi, David Duchovny – who was your favorite Carrie Bradshaw romance? Write in the comments below or tweet me @trailheaders #satc

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In Conclusion

When it comes to choosing between romance or travel plans, the Trailheaders way is to take the trip. Or, encourage the ones we care about to take the trip, no matter how much you don’t want to leave their side. It seems aching to think about on a daily basis, but it’s really not in the midst of taking in new cultures and challenges through traveling. Hopefully they are doing the same back home or on their own travels.

The paths that are meant to cross again, cross again. Sometimes, they even join!

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Travel romance tales at Trailheaders.com

Hopefully you never have to choose between love and travel, because you can have loads of both if you have optimism (and a good data plan). But if you do, I hope that looking at these turn-of-the-Millennium women has helped you make your choice between romance and travel plans.

The three characters deal with their choices between staying for romance or going on travels in different ways. Those decisions affected the outcome of their stories. What kind of story do you want to be yours? Do you want to be The Girl Who Didn’t Go to Paris? Do you want to be The Girl Who Finally Gave the Nice Guy a Chance? Do you want to be The Girl Who Fell in Dior?

I don’t want to be The Girl Who [anything] anymore, because I am old enough to have come of age during “Sex and the City.” But I am definitely The Woman Who Loves to Travel! So having someone who says, “Go! Have a blast! I will be here when you get back,” is the best.

Have you found success and happiness by NOT taking the trip? Have you ever had to leave someone special for a trip but come home to find love with them later? Do you think it’s NUTS to consider canceling a trip for a hot guy/girl? Please share your travel romance in the comments below!

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Travel romance tales at Trailheaders.com

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